Ranjit Barot — Bada Boom
(Abstract Logix ABLX 026, 2010, CD)
Drummer Ranjit Barot has certainly surrounded himself with world-class international talent, much of which also records for the Abstract Logix label. Since participating with John McLaughlin on Floating Point (the venerable English guitarist's return to fusion music), Barot has worked out his own compositional approach. Barot’s songwriting style favors traditional Indian thematic development with a well-developed ear for Western jazz and thick and knotty string and horn accompaniment (expertly provided on this album by the Tim Garland Underground Orchestra and the Nirvana String Section), with as much room as needed for tasty improvs. “Singularity” starts the album with Matthew Garrison and the hottest licks on the disc between Wayne Krantz and Tim Garland hanging in tough and dishing it out hot and heavy. U. Srinivas's mandolin gracefully opens “Supernova” before Zakir Hussain’s tabla joins with a serene vocal line while “Revolutions” has some Weather Report-like keyboard playing. Most of the pieces carry a strong spiritual undertone and an orientation of East-meets-West, an infusion both familiar and uplifting. The drummer’s own rhythmic skills are incredible, putting him somewhere on the all-star drummer map between Billy Cobham and Vinnie Colaiuta. “Origin” closes out the album on a danceable strut with Krantz adding a few bluesy jazz darts. Keyboardist Aydin Essen adds some convincing lead lines as well. Overall it’s a global tour de force of both insight and chops.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more